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What Causes Stomach Bloating?

Learn what causes stomach bloating from gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu, M.D. in this Howcast video about stomach problems and digestive disorders.

Transcript

So stomach bloating. The most common cause of stomach bloating is basically air or gas getting trapped within our digestive tract. The most common cause of getting bloated or getting a higher accumulation of gas is by swallowing air. And that can happen if we are talking too much or laughing too much while we're eating, or we drink with a straw. So if you can kind of change those behaviors you might be able to reduce the amount of gas that you have in your stomach.

The other reason why we get bloated is by the foods that we eat. There's some foods that we naturally, are told to eat because they're high in fiber and they're really good for us, but one of the side products of it is that we wind up getting a little gassy or bloated from it. And those would be the cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli or asparagus, brussels sprouts, cauliflower. All those foods are high in fiber and they're really good for us, but part of the digestive process of it leaves off a lot of gas and people can get very bloated with it. And what can help with that is taking a digestive enzyme to help digest those things down.

Occasionally, people who don't really tolerate milk can produce a lot of gas as they're trying to digest milk products. So they might benefit from using Lactaid pills when they drink milk.

The other reason people get very bloated is if they have any shift in their good bacterial flora in their colon. Because if they have that shift of that normal balance they may get the bad bacteria overtaking the good bacteria, and their food is just not getting digested properly. So the offshoot is a lot of methane gas, and that can also contribute to the bloating. So if we can take probiotics or Greek yogurt to get the bacterial flora back in line that's going to help with bloating as well.

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